First things first: I'm really hoping those of you out there who didn't like last week's episode "Across the Sea" have changed your tune after last night's episode. Seeing how Jacob became the protector of the island is much better than simply hearing about how Jacob became the protector on the island. And now that some of those details in "Across the Sea" are proving to be pretty darned important, it doesn't seem as tangential as it did in its first viewing. At least that's what I thought. Somehow, it just seems more relevant.
Last week we saw Jacob down the super juice and become the island's bodyguard, and this week we saw another character get the promotion: good old Jack! His transformation complete, faith-y Jack decides he doesn't have to go back to the mainland and fix people. Instead he can fix the entire universe as we know it by protecting the island's light source, which we guess is pretty important.
Though it was plainly foreshadowed for months, watching Jack get anointed as the new Jacob still gave me a few tingles. Here we are, 5.9 seasons in, and Jack is finally the most important man in the world, just like we thought he'd be. But it won't be a walk in the park. He's got to kill someone made out of smoke.
And in sideways world, Jack notices his weird hickey is back, and man oh man... it looks a lot bigger doesn't it? Here's a bold prediction: In the finale, island Jack gets stabbed in the neck (but not necessarily fatally). Maybe the two universes are converging and we're getting hints as to what will happen on island time by looking at the sideways universe. (It's just a guess, and probably wrong one, too.)
We also got more evidence that sideways universe Desmond is a huge jerk who likes to punch people in the face because he's a lunatic. Okay, not really. Alt-Desmond wants to show the Losties the "other side" by nearly killing them, and then when their minds have finally opened, gather everyone up at the same time for some purpose we're not so sure of. One could say that this Desmond is an alternate-universe version of Jacob, bringing Jack, Hurley, Ben, and others together in order to save the world, be it alternate or not. But one thing's for sure; the appearance of Desmond in the sideways flash stories makes the sideways universe pretty awesome.
But what if Desmond isn't there to save the universe? What if this Desmond is the alternate-timeline version of Smokey/Man in Black (notice Desmond's nice black suit), gathering everyone together so he can kill them in one fell swoop, just as island Smokey tried to do with the exploding submarine? He's going to pretty extreme lengths to get in contact with everyone... getting thrown in jail right next to Sayid and Kate, paying off cops to let fugitives go, running over dudes in wheelchairs, going to kids' concerts. Whatever party he's planning is way too important to send a simple Evite.
There's also the chance that island Smokey would take an interest in possessing Desmond's body, don't you think? If I'm a smoke monster looking to extinguish a light in the middle of a magic island that has a nougat-y center of soul-crushing electro-magnetism, I'm going to wear the meatsuit that is immune to strong doses of said electro-magnetism—aka Desmond. Besides, I've always wanted a Scottish accent.
Of course that's if Smokey gets to Desmond first. If Jack can get to Desmond first, then Jack could use Desmond's resistance to his own advantage. All I know is, someone might end up going down that hole.
And on to the obituaries: We may have seen the last of Richard Alpert, the man who never ages but might be able to die, with a gang tackle from the Smoke Monster. If you have a DVR, I highly recommend watching the moment of impact in slow motion. It's awesome. Goodbye Charles Widmore, you mysterious British freak, shot in the gut by Ben. And Zoe, good riddance. You were this season's Nikki and Paolo, but worse. Bleh. Hated her.
The one problem I had with the episode came in Jacob's speech. In it, Jacob tells Jack, Hurley, Kate, and Sawyer that he brought them to the island because they were like him: flawed, alone, looking for something they couldn't find out there, because they needed the island as much as it needed them.
So Mr. Jacob, why didn't you come get me? I certainly meet your qualifications of a lonely loser. And let me tell you, I'm bored to death. Point is, I'm not satisfied with his reason for bringing everyone to the island and hope there's just a little more insight into his specifics for choosing those particular people, out of everyone in the world, over others. And don't give me any "it's destiny" crap.
"What They Died For" may not have been a perfect episode, but it trimmed the fat and did several things strongly: answered questions, gave us character moments, set up the finale, and gave us plenty to think and talk about.
I guess I'll watch the finale. If I have to.*
(*That's sarcasm, people.)
toulari said "Across the Sea" was "the best Lost webisode never made." Even though I liked the ep, that's a hilarious comment. I totally see what you mean, dude.
augcast said, "Did anybody else get the feeling when the cave of light was shown it was a throw back to Pulp Fictions Marsellus Wallace "soul" being the thing in the briefcase???" Yes I did! I thought the exact same thing!
lovey5211 asks all of us,"What is the one Lost mystery you are most looking forward for the writers to answer? And what do you think the answer will be?" For some reason, I'm really really interested in the whole kids thing. Why was Walt special? Why was Aaron special? This was such a big question and it hasn't been touched on for a long time. I wrote a piece on 10 questions I wanted Lost to answer before the season started, and that's one of the few that's left. What about everyone else? What's on your list of questions needing to be answered?
AhmedNabil1 (are there two Ahmed Nabils?) apparently is fed up with the show. He/she says "I highly doubt that we are going to get answers to the old storylines cuz come to think of it, they were full of crap for the first couple of seasons!! They're forcing new characters & storylines upon us so when the finale comes with answers to the new questions, we're fooled into thinking we are satisfied when in fact, it doesn't make sense anymore." Hey buddy, that's how I felt at the beginning of the season. But I think the season has gotten better as it's progressed. Maybe I'm just rolling with the flow now instead of expecting so much.
And my favorite comment, from TimMentionMe: "Tim pleeeeeeeeeeease mention me in your next LOST article!!!!!! PLEEEEEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ur the one i love to hate!!!!!." DONE AND DONE!
"What They Died For": The thing I really liked about this episode is it got me thinking again. Thinking hard. It was an old episode of Lost, the kind that required a second viewing to fully digest. A good setup for the finale, and well deserved of a higher spot on the list. ALSO: I reserved the right to adjust my rating of "Across the Sea," and I'm doing it now. I'm bumping it up to number four. In fact, though "The Substitute" is number one on the list, I think all of the top five episodes could easily be considered the best of the season.
1. "The Substitute" Ep. 4
2. "Ab Aeterno" Ep. 9
3. "The Candidate" Ep. 14
4. "Across the Sea" Ep. 15
5. "Happily Ever After" Ep. 11
6. "What They Died For" Ep. 16
7. "Everybody Loves Hugo" Ep. 12
8. "Recon" Ep. 8
9. "LA X (2)" Ep. 2
10. "The Lighthouse" Ep. 5
11. "The Last Recruit" Ep. 13
12. "Sundown" Ep. 6
13. "LA X (1)" Ep. 1
14. "Dr. Linus Ep. 7
15. "The Package" Ep. 10
16. "What Kate Does" Ep. 3